DOH to screen for coronavirus at RSW

Posted at 7:23 AM, Mar 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-26 08:58:06-04

CAPE CORAL, Fla -- Southwest Florida International Airport says the Florida Department of Health will start screening people for the coronavirus at the airport as early as Thursday.

The airport was only able to provide preliminary information. However, we anticipate these screenings have to do with the governor's executive order for anyone flying in from the New York City area.

We know Florida Department of Health staff, along with law enforcement, are currently meeting travelers arriving on these flights. They're required to isolate for 14-days and be monitored by the DOH to mitigate the spread of the virus.

These travelers must complete a form regarding travel history and trip details. The DOH will then issue the appropriate isolation or quarantine order.

According to Thursday's flight arrival schedule, a number of flights scheduled to arrive from the New York area have actually been canceled. However, at least one is still scheduled to arrive from JFK this afternoon.

If these are the screenings RSW is referencing, we know the governor has said that the Florida National Guard will also be on-site, working with DOH staff to make sure the screenings run smoothly.

“We actually had the National Guard at the check-in for the flights coming in. We’re only doing the flights from the New York City area. They’re coming in, everyone's getting processed, and that information is going to be shared with the various regions. So if you fly into Miami and you’re going out to Miami Beach, then we're going to let those folks know that you're there just so we can make sure people are being kept safe,” said DeSantis.

Travelers are required by law to follow the DOH isolation orders. Staff will give each passenger a traveler card with information on what to do if they start to show symptoms.

We also know that the Florida Department of Transportation is working to compile flight data from all of the airports, to make sure DOH staff and law enforcement are on-site for every scheduled arrival.